US, Russia Fail to Agree on Iran’s Participation in Syria Talks
A split has emerged between the US and Russia over Iran’s participation in Syrian peace talks planned for next week.
“We would support Iran coming if it supported the goals of the conference,” US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Monday in Paris at a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and United Nations Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
“No other nation has its people on the ground fighting in the way that they are,” Kerry said, as cited by Bloomberg.
“It’s quite clear Iran and Saudi Arabia should participate in this conference,” Lavrov said. “One cannot be influenced by ideological sentiments so much that it harms the course of the talks.”
Kerry and Lavrov met privately before joining Brahimi to discuss the US-Russia effort to have the Syrian government and opposition meet for the first time since the conflict began. To build confidence before the talks, set for Geneva on January 22, the US and Russia will push both sides to establish localized ceasefires, consider exchanging prisoners of war, and expand humanitarian access, Kerry and Lavrov said.